socks · sometimes I knit

Was that summer?

Well, we had a lovely weekend, good thing I didn’t blink and miss it. The clouds are back in the sky today. (Obviously. This morning I put a load of washing in.) Which makes me doubly pleased that I was just a little bit naughty… I stole a good few hours from work to sit out in the garden, knitting and reading Harry Potter*. Yes, this is how I rebel these days. (Come to think of it, it’s much like how I rebelled at school, too: knitting instead of homework. I’m so wild.)
This is what I was knitting on.
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Remember that denim jacket I started in, um, April or so? Remember my cold feet? Remember I said I’d just tweak the Jess pattern a bit? Here’s a first: I’m not tweaking. I’m knitting it exactly as is. For novelty value. And also, um, laziness.
(How’s that rolling, eh? I’m planning on making this project, not just my first ever true-to-pattern knit, but also my first blocking job. Really. I’ve done all right without it all these years, but it’s time to stop being so damn lazy.)
I’m enjoying it (which explains how I’ve raced through two fronts in a week – yes dears, that is racing, at least considering my schedule), despite being irritated by the lack of photographs in the pattern,** the stiffness of the yarn and the way it makes my hands blue. On the other hand, after working on titchy little 2.25mm sock needles, these 4mm sticks are positively chunky! Loving that, oh yes. While the titchy little socks…
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Well. Um. Yeah, they’re fine and all, whatever. Can I stop now?
No, no I can’t. This is the first ever pair of socks I’m making for my lovely Armin (although clearly not the last; did I mention he’s requested his very own cosy socks, in Wollmeise Tiefersee?) and dammit, I will finish them. Doomed as the little bastards are. Y’see, I been lazy, and I been dumb. I finished the first sock, cast off, and he couldn’t pull it on. Cast off too tight. So I put that aside, figuring I’d deal with the cast off thing later, and did the next one. Didn’t quite get around to redoing the cast off meanwhile; didn’t even check whether it fit if I pulled the cast off out. So. Finished the second sock, complete with stretchy cast off. Tried to pull it on. It didn’t. Bummer. Wasn’t the cast off that was the problem…
So I pull the sock back to the heel, add a few stitches for a deeper heel, turn the heel, start working up the leg in k3, p1 rib. It’s going to be a long slog back up. (Have I mentioned I hate ribbing on dpns? Really do.) But hey. We’ll get there. Then, attempting to demonstrate to a friend how I screwed up, I pull the too-tight sock on my foot…
Hang on. It totally goes on. Apparently this is what I get for knitting drunk.***
Still, Armin would like it a bit easier to pull on (fair enough), so it’s not a bad idea to be reknitting. Also, they’re too short. (I did confer with him on the length, but it looks a lot shorter on the leg. All part of learning to be a sock knitter, I guess.) Still. Damn.
And while I’ve been steaming ahead on Jess, and plodding ahead on the socks (they’re my train knit, which means I have to choose between reading and socking; at the moment Harry Potter is winning), here’s what I should have been working on.
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The wedding shrug for my bestest friend, getting married in Cape Town in September. As you can see, I’m not exactly racing on this one. I do have an excuse though: this is not our first choice of yarn. It’s to match a “red/gold” shot taffeta dress, which, being in Cape Town and all, I haven’t seen. I have seen some very dodgy photos, and a tiny – 1cm x 3cm – scrap of fabric. But you know what shot taffeta’s like. That little scrap looks kind of purple/yellow, rather than red or gold. The photos look quite orangey. She swears the actual dress, in normal light, is none of these things, and I believe her. So how to pick a yarn? This Goldiehair has flashes of what is probably exactly the right colour – but overall it’s pretty dark, and she’s not mad about the idea of a dark shrug. The Silk Rhapsody I was using for my Moebius is maybe closer to the dress; but the fabric scrap gave me the idea that it would be close but not close enough, and you know how crappy it looks to have a bad colour match; that made me think I’d do better to have a contrast, not a match, because that’s easier to fudge.
So I’ve found a couple of slightly lighter red/gold-ish colourways in Colinette mohair, and ordered them (just one ball of each – I have no idea what the yardage is anyway – and with luck they’ll arrive promptly, and one of those will do, and I can buy more, and get cracking). Oh, I should probably finish the Goldiehair one anyway, though. To go with my (garnet red) bridesmaid dress. Yup… I should get going right away.
If only Jess weren’t so very, very appealing right now…
PS I still owe you yarn photos. Oops. Okay, here we go: evidence of my late spendies.
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BFL laceweight from Hello Yarn – arrived with my nostepinde. (Because clearly it would be Bad and Wrong to order something from a yarny all the way in America and not grab the chance to sample her wares at the same time. Right?) I’m planning to use this for my first lace shawl; I’ve been hesitant about the whole lace thing, because I’m not sure how wearable it is in my wardrobe. But the challenge of it all is getting to me. So I spent a good while browsing the Interweb, looking for the perfect lace shawl pattern, and I saw quite a few lovely things, and developed an instant and intense desire to make the Peacock Shawl… but that of course will require quite different yarn. After all my research, Dee’s Fir Cone photos appear to have swung the deciding vote. Funny, I never had any desire to make this shawl along with everyone else, but I rather think it’ll be perfect for this particular yarn. …Then I just need to figure out how to wear the damn thing.
And then we come to my Posh indiscretions. Ah yes. It’s clear that my sock enthusiasm has not been entirely squashed by the shepherd socks of doom.
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Emily, in Pompous. Intended for those lovely lacy boot socks in the last Interweave.
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And finally, left to right: Emily, Bed of Roses; Lucia, Devoted (way less bright than it looks – Photoshop failed me); and Emily again, in Offbeat and Ripen. The Lucia is a present for my sister, whom I am welcoming back into the knitting fold with enthusiasm, and presents. Although I am finding it very, very, very hard to let go of this particular skein. It’s delicious.
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* No spoilers please! I’m actually just working my way through the series, refreshing my memory for the final instalment. Which I will be reading aloud to Armin in the evening, as he washes up. It’s a longstanding tradition; and don’t mock, it means I get out of doing the dishes.
** One photo. One. About five centimetres deep. No detail shots, no back shots… nada. So frankly, this is going to be a voyage of discovery, this knit.
*** Not actually joking, no. I finished this sock – and attempted to try it on – in the late stages of a barbecue last weekend. Sitting on the table. I want to say this wasn’t actually as weird as it sounds, but what do I know? I’d had a few gallons of Bombay Flowers. I couldn’t even pull on a damn sock.

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5 thoughts on “Was that summer?

  1. Don’t you just love Emily, it’s so huggable/squishable (I got some of that Bed of Roses too). This is what I knit Thermal in and it is sooooo lovely. Too warm to wear at the minute but all ready for the first signs of Autumn. Love the colours in the shrug so far. Our weekend in NI was so miserable all it did was rain and rain and rain. Not enough for floods just consistent damp. I am currently sitting in work having left DH to airport for a 7am flight to London for his Uncles funeral, he’ll be back tomorrow. Ho hum don’t you just love early starts, I was out of bed at 4am zzzzzzzzzzzz

  2. Indeed – of course I haven’t tried knitting with the Emily yet, but you’re right, it’s sooo squishy I can’t wait!

  3. Emily is incredibly squishy, yes. I need to use slightly larger needles next time I knit with it, due to my tight gauge, but oh, the socks are lovely and cushy.
    I hate ribbing on DPNs more than anything else in knitting.

  4. Robynn – far from mocking in the reading-Harry-Potter aloud – this is what Clare and I do every time. So much better, though you have to be much more careful about spoilers as it takes much longer. finished at the weekend – a stormer!
    The Emily is lovely – I did Crusoe (Knitty, by the Curmudgeon) on 2.5mm I think, and my aunt tells me they kept her perfectly warm on her recent holiday to the Arctic. No joke!

  5. Ana, so glad it’s not just me hating the ribbing! I really thought I was just a DPN wuss and every other knitter in the world is cool with it. But, yuck.
    And Emily, too, thanks for the validation! It really is a perfect series for reading aloud (although that also highlights all of JK’s stylistic, um, quirks). But there is the spoiler issue, and since we generally only read over the washing up – and not even every day, what with Armin’s night shifts and all – we’re going to be avoiding spoilers for a long, long time.
    (Also, Arctic? Really? Wow.)

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